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[SOLVED] Use netX interface as profinet controller
#1
Hi,

I have been checking the 'netPI RE3' as profinet device/slave with netX inerface, CifX software and example provided, everything looks ok.

But i have a doubt is really there is not any chance to use this interface as profinet controller/master?? Best option recommended to work as profinet controller would be codesys and standard ethernet interface?? 

Thanks,
Javi
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#2
Dear Javi,

following needs to be said about netX51 industrial network controller that is used on netPI RTE 3:

The chip itself is able to carry only slave/device/adapter software as it it is stated on its official web site https://www.hilscher.com/products/produc...s/netx-51/

The netX51 was specifically designed to deliver fast and easy way to exchange cyclic ethernet/fieldbus IO data with any kind of host CPUs such as the Raspberry CPU. And to be honest the chip does it well and very good in thousands of applications (not only on netPI). From the beginning netX51 was never designed (ARM CPU power related used on netX51) to provide master functionality. So this is a dead end. We have no master software for netX51, netX52 ...

Now back to your question about Codesys:

Codesys itself comes with ready to use master stacks such as profinet, ethernet/ip and ethercat. Those are all TCP/IP based protocols and could be driven across any standard LAN ethernet interface.

As I stated before netX51 is strong in exchanging IO data fast with a host CPU, but netX51 was never designed to work as a TCP/IP standard ethernet controller. But of course it can support TCP/IP traffic too (as the LAN container example shows it), but not at a performance level equal to standard ethernet controllers you are used to cause we have to handle the traffic across acyclic messages between Raspberry and netX51. And we have the bottleneck "SPI" in general between Raspberry and netX51. All in sum the TCP/IP support of netX51 is  more or less moderately and the interface is relatively slow to manage real-time protocols across.

This is how I would do it and at least three netPI customers I know of are doing it:

They mixed the "Codesys container" with the "netX ethernet LAN container". So initially they have 3 TCP/IP supporting ethernet ports active on their netPI RTE 3 ... and use the two (switched ports with one MAC and one ip address) netX ethernet ports in LAN mode as interface with the Windows Codesys programming tool to program the Codesys runtime and the single Raspberry ethernet port as interface to do Profinet Master/EthernetIP/EtherCAT master. This works 100% fine and well.


Regards
Armin
You never fail until you stop trying.“, Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

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#3
Hi Armin,

Thaks a lot for your explanation, everything is competely clear!

Regards,
Javi
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